Letter to the Editor (On campus police)

Mathieu Deflem
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This is a copy of a letter published in the Journal and Courier newspaper, April 8, 2001.

Please cite as: Deflem, Mathieu. 2001. Letter to the editor. Journal and Courier, April 8, 2001.

I feel that the Purdue campus police picture campaign with respect to the post-basketball rioters is very inappropriate. Of course, all students who participated in the riots should be punished in accordance with our system of law and the policies of the university. Anybody found guilty of participating in the issueless riots of the past week, therefore, should be expelled from Purdue.

Sadly, the Purdue police brands the people on the pictures it posts on the Internet as "suspected offenders," though their involvement has not been proven and the pictures are often less than conclusive. Also, the campaigns asks students to turn in other students, which is far from an ideal response.

Everybody has rights, and we should not rush to justice through some spectacular ill-advised campaigns in which innocent people risk the chance of stigmatization and punishments they do not deserve.

Mathieu Deflem, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Purdue University

See also the related letter: Police Use Web Site Inappropriately.

See other writings on university issues.